[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/02/art.macpalin0802.gi.jpg caption="In an interview that aired Sunday, Sen. McCain said he respects former Gov. Palin and thinks she will continue to play a role in the Republican Party."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A week after she stepped down as Alaska’s governor, Sen. John McCain is expressing support for his former White House running mate.
“I respect Sarah Palin,” McCain said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “I appreciate her and her husband enormously. I think she will continue to play a major role in the future of the Republican Party. And I have to respect the decision she made."
“People make decisions, what they think is best for their own future, their state, the country and their family. And I'm not aware of all the influences,” McCain said of Palin’s surprise decision to step down 18 months before her first term as governor was up.
“And Sarah, I think, made, clearly, the best decision,” McCain told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
McCain also told King he continues to “be saddened by the fact that there are still such vicious attacks on her and her family.”
“I've never seen anything quite like it,” added McCain.